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We're off for a turn around the pits now, tune in tomorrow morning and we'll let you know what we found out. Action is due to start at 9:00, and we should have the morning report posted by then.
See you tomorrow!
We're all done here at Santa Pod, it's been a long and very busy day. A particular shout must go to the timing crew who had a hellish morning after the top end gantry transformer blew, which meant no displays for the spectators. The transformer was apparently blown to pieces but the guys from TSI Timers affected repairs so that we could all see what was going on. Great work guys.
After Pro qualifying was over, Martin Hill put in a great pass of 6.032/255.12 in the Fireforce 2 Jet FC.
Here are the top two qualifiers in each class at the end of day one of qualifying.
FIA Top Fuel Dragster: 1. Andy Carter 5.558/186.98, 2. Micke Kagered 5.588/179.30
FIA Top Methanol Dragster: 1. Rob Turner 5.900/239.18, 2. Manty Bugeja 5.948/231.38
FIA Top Methanol Funny Car: 1. Leif Helander 5.932/233.98, 2. Micke Kagered 6.056/240.84
FIA Pro Stock: 1. Niclas Andersson 7.077/194.23, 2. Jacob Ferrer 7.090/195.04
Super Pro ET (own dial-in): 1. Paul Davis +0.033 (8.633/157.76), 2. Nigel Payne +0.044 (8.144/163.13)
Pro ET (own dial-in): 1. Rick McCann +0.000 (10.900/123/12), 2. Al Golding 9.108/148.99
Sportsman ET (own dial-in): 1. Chris Isaccs +0.008 18.608/67.74, 2. Gareth Mogford +0.031 (12.681/108.87)
Super Comp (8.90): 1. Zane Llewellyn 8.928/148.81, 2. Tim Adam 8.929/147.16
Super Gas (9.90): 1. Dave Townsend 9.902/140.48, 2. Frank Mason 9.913/137.07
Super Street (10.90): 1. Bob Lees 10.920/121.39, 2. Stuart Peck 10.922/122.99
Competition Eliminator: 1. Bruno Bader 7.827/173.66, 2. Marco Maurichat 9.607/75.96
Junior Dragster (reaction time): 1. Jay Hauser 0.504, 22. Scott Hauser 0.507
Custom Car Street Eliminator: 1. Steve Pateman 8.814/166.62, 2. Ian Hook 8.992/154.86
UEM Competition Bike: 1. Ian King 6.646/197.42, 2. Ken Cooper 7.392/168.63
UEM Supertwin Top Fuel: 1. Per Bengtsson 6.928/192.78, 2. Ton Pels 7.051/190.68
UEM Pro Stock Bike: 1. Kenneth Stromberg 7.661/172.23, 2. Roger Petterson 7.689/173.03
Super Street Bike: 1. Graham Dance 8.514/165.55, 2. Tony Clark 6.633/170.04
9.90 Bike: 1. Lee Baxendale 9.906/140.97, 2. Craig Mallabone 9.914/128.00
10.90 Bike: 1. Lewis Honey 10.902/123.92, 2. Ilse Lambert 10.910/123.76
Picture upload is now taking place, stay tuned.
The first round of FIA Top Fuel Dragster qualifying went as follows: Kim Reymond broke off line, Micke Kagered 5.58/179.30, Andy Carter 5.55/186.98, Peter Beck 6.64/133.04, Anita Makela 7.23/113.48, Barry Sheavills no show. Micke Kagered got off the throttle at half track and had the chute out before the finish line, the car was really moving before Micke got out of it. Andy Carter and Peter Beck similarly got off it at half-track, Andy Carter was really on one. Anita Makela had a cylinder out and hit bad tyre shake.
So at the end of today, FIA Top Fuel Dragster stands as follows: 1. Andy Carter 5.558/186.98, 2. Micke Kagered 5.588/179.30, 3. Peter Beck 6.644/133.04, 4. Anita Makela 7.235/113.48
The second round of UEM Comp Bike qualifying went as follows: Eric Teboul broke, Ken Cooper 7.39/168.63, Jean-Claude Draper 9.47/131.06, Roald Dogge 8.60/139.81, Luigi Feretti 9.23/135.29, Klaus Sarembe 10.51/129.18, Klaus Brinkmann 9.222/155.22, Dave Abraham 7.81/155.49, Antonio Feretti 8.71/149.68, Steve Woollatt 9.53/90.39, Roel Koedam 10.14/84.87, Brian Johnson lost fire before burnout.
So at the end of today, UEM Comp Bike stands as follows: 1. Ian King 6.646/197.42, 2. Ken Cooper 7.392/168.63, 3. Steve Woollatt 7.518/149.16, 4. Dave Abraham 7.819/155.49, 5. Eric Teboul 8.381/151.97, 6. Roald Dogge 8.606/139.81, 7. Antonio Feretti 8.717/149.68, 8. Klaus Brinkmann 9.228/155.22, 9. Luigi Feretti 9.235/135.29, 10. Jean-Claude Draper 9.260/128.25, 11. Roel Koedam 10.141/84.87, 12. Klaus Sarembe 10.516/129.18
The second round of FIA Top Methanol Funny Car qualifying went as follows: Leif Andreasson 5.94/226.43, Dezsoe Krivan 8.72/104.11, Lex Joon 7.03/196.24, Urs Embacher 7.08/172.52, Ulf Leanders 6.34/221.43, Leif Helander 6.00/233.48
So at the end of today, FIA Top Methanol FC stands as follows: 1. Leif Helander 5.932/233.98, 2. Micke Kagered 6.056/240.84, 3. Leif Andreasson 6.139/235.65, 4. Ulf Leanders 6.297/223.04, 5. Dezsooe Krivan 6.356/223.10, 6. Lex Joon 6.800/140.83, 7. Urs Embacher 7.045/142.25
We're now going to post today's pictures plus the standings in all Sportsman classes, come back soon.
The second round of UEM Supertwin Top Fuel qualifying went as follows: Anders Karling 14.39/52.53, Per Bengtsson 6.92/192.78, Carsten Andersson 10.94/122.79, Svein-Olaf Rolfstad 7.37/181.71, Erik Nielsen 10.25/116.67, Willem Been 7.40/181.73, Svein Gottenberg broke after burnout, Jaka Salakari shut off for fluid leak, Ton Pels 7.05/190.68
So at the end of today, UEM Supertwin Top Fuel stands as follows: 1. Per Bengtsson 6.928/192.78, 2. Ton Pels 7.051/190.68, 3. Svein-Olaf Rolfstad 7.335/179.41, 4. Willem Been 7.406/181.73, 5. Svein Gottenberg 7.534/167.07, 6. Anders Karling 7.624/191.18, 7. Erik Nielsen 10.257/116.67, 8. Carsten Andersson 10.945/122.79
The second round of FIA Top Methanol Dragster qualifying went as follows: Manty Bugeja 5.97/232.91, Rob Turner 5.90/239.18, Darryl Bradford 7.19/129.33, Wendy Baker 7.10/191.86
So at the end of today, FIA Top Methanol Dragster stands as follows: 1. Rob Turner 5.900/239.18, 2. Manty Bugeja 5.948/231.38, 3. Dave Wilson 6.012/235.42, 4. Doug Bond 6.607/199.33, 5. Wendy Baker 7.109/191.86, 6. Darryl Bradford 7.190/129.33
Next we'll be posting Top Fuel Dragster and UEM Comp Bike, stay tuned.
We've now had our second complete cycle of FIA and UEM classes. We made up the half-hour lost to Wendy Baker's oildown and in fact were fifteen minutes early going into the FIA/UEM classes. "The credit should go to the Sportsman racers for that", said Race Director Darren Prentice.
Again we'll go through the FIA and UEM classes in the order in which they were run.
UEM Pro Stock Bike qualifying, session two: Roger Petterson 7.68/173.03, Martin Bishop 8.16/157.51, Luigi Chinarello 8.27/159.19, Kenneth Stromberg 7.83/169.60, Chris Tombleson broke, Remo Nassi 8.44/154.65, Anders Larsson 7.93/165.56
So at the end of Saturday, after two sessions, UEM Pro Stock Bike stands as follows: 1. Kenneth Stromberg 7.661/172.23, 2. Roger Petterson 7.689/173.03, 3. Anders Larsson 7.932/165.56, 4. Martin Bishop 8.168/157.51, 5. Luigi Chinarello 8.272/159.19, 6. Remo Nassi 8.444/154.65, 7. Chris Tombleson 14.560/52.55
FIA Pro Stock qualifying, session two: Michael Malmgren 7.10/195.04, Niclas Andersson 7.14/193.00, Kenneth Soderstrom 7.71/181.67, Rune Berg 7.21/190.27, Jacob Ferrer 7.14/193.65, Jari Konola 7.12/194.90
So after two sessions, FIA Pro Stock stands as follows: 1. Niclas Andersson 7.077/194.23, 2. Jacob Ferrer 7.090/195.04, 3. Michael Malmgren 7.102/195.04, 5. Jari Konola 7.116/193.64, 6. Rune Berg 7.213/190.27, 7. Kenneth Soderstrom 7.589/176.75
Stay tuned, next we'll be posting UEM Supertwin Top Fuel and Top Methanol Dragster.
We've now had our first cycle of FIA and UEM qualifying and here's how it went, in the order in which the classes ran.
Pro Stock Bike: Luigi Chinarello 8.33/158.26, Remo Nassi 8.79, Chris Tombleson 14.56/52.55, Martin Bishop 8.36/153.98, Anders Larsson 16.51/87.86, Kenneth Stromberg 7.66/172.23, Roger Petterson 7.79/170.59.
So after session one, UEM Pro Stock Bike stands as follows: 1. Kenneth Stromberg 7.661/172.23, 2. Roger Petterson 7.799/170.59, 3. Luigi Chinarello 8.330/158.26, 4. Martin Bishop 8.365/153.98, 5. Remo Nassi 8.792/150.28, 6. Chris Tombleson 14.560/52.55, 7. Anders Larsson 16.515/87.86
FIA Pro Stock: Kenneth Soderstrom 7.58/176.75, Christer Andersson broke off line, Rune Berg broke in start area, Jacob Ferrer 7.09/195.04, Jari Konola 7.11/193.64, Michael Malmgren 7.11/195.42, Niclas Andersson 7.07/194.23. Jari Konola ran most of the quarter mile with smoke from the front left wheel arch, we would guess that the front wheel was rubbing.
After session one, FIA Pro Stock stands as follows: 1. Niclas Andersson 7.077/194.23, 2. Jacob Ferrer 7.090/195.04, 3. Michael Malmgren 7.110/195.42, 4. Jari Konola 7.116/193.64, 5. Kenneth Soderstrom 7.589/176.75
FIA Top Methanol Funny Car: Dezsoe Krivan 6.35/223.10, Urs Embacher 7.04/142.25, Lex Joon 6.80/140.83, Leif Helander 5.93/233.98, Ulf Leanders 6.29/223.04, Micke Kagered 6.05/240.84, Leif Andreasson 6.13/235.65. Urs Embacher pedalled three times on his pass, smoke issuing from the headers on each pedal. Lex Joon was off the throttle and had the parachute out at about 1000 feet.
After session one, FIA TMFC stands as follows: 1. Leif Helander 5.932/233.98, 2. Micke Kagered 6.056/240.84, 3. Leif Andreasson 6.139/235.65, 4. Ulf Leanders 6.297/223.04, 5. Dezsoe Krivan 6.356/223.10, 6. Lex Joon 6.800/140.83, 7. Urs Embacher 7.045/142.25
UEM Supertwin Top Fuel: Svein Gottenberg 7.53/167.08, Svein-Olaf Rolfstad 7.33/179.41, Willem Been 7.47/180.87, Jaka Salakari broke, Ton Pels 7.28/190.24, Anders Karling 7.62/191.18, Per Bengtsson 7.02/191.73, Carsten Andersson 16.03/41.99, Erik Nielsen 11.65/77.87. Willem Been broke after his burnout but fixed the problem and tagged on the end of the session so his time counted.
After session one, UEM Supertwin Top Fuel stands as follows: 1. Per Bengtsson 7.029/191.73, 2. Ton Pels 7.289/190.24, 3. Svein-Olaf Rolfstad 7.335/179.41, 4. Willem Been 7.476/180.87, 5. Svein Gottenberg 7.534/167.07, 6. Anders Karling 7.624/191.18, 7. Erik Nielsen 11.655/77.87, 8. Carsten Andersson 16.039/41.99
FIA Top Methanol Dragster: Wendy Baker 11.26/130.88, Doug Bond 6.60/199.33, Manty Bugeja 5.94/213.38, Dave Wilson 6.01/235.42, Rob Turner 6.45/220.12. Wendy Baker started to drop oil at 1000 feet and left a wide trail right the way down the shutdown area, which held up qualifying for a short while although the track crew did the usual superb job and we were back in action very quickly given the length of the oildown.
After session one, FIA Top Methanol Dragster stands as follows: 1. Manty Bugeja 5.948/231.38, 2. Dave Wilson 6.012/235.42, 3. Rob Turner 6.457/220.12, 4. Doug Bond 6.607/199.33, 5. Wendy Baker 11.268/130.88. We can hear you all cheering on Malta from here!
UEM Comp Bike: Jean-Claude Draper 9.26/128.25, Luigi Feretti broke off line, Roald Dogge 10.39/92.07, Klaus Sarembe 10.51/133.17, Antonio Feretti shut off on line, Dave Abraham broke off line, Roel Koedam 21.04/40.01, Steve Woollatt 7.51/149.16, Ian King 6.64/197.42, Ken Cooper 7.45/171.67, Brian Johnson crossed centre line, Eric Teboul 8.38/151.97, Klaus Brinkmann 9.98/151.54. Antonio Feretti was shut off by the Chief Starter for some sort of clothing violation, we'll try to get the word on that. Brian Johnson was alongside Ken Cooper and was going great guns until the bike started to drift right at half-track, Brian taking out the 1000-foot marker and then ploughing through the top end lights. Ken was ahead so his time is valid. Eric Teboul also went out of shape but in the other direction, towards the guardrail, and there was easily a whole second off the throttle in his run.
After session one, UEM Comp Bike stands as follows: 1. Ian King 6.646/197.42, 2. Ken Cooper 7.450/171.67, 3. Steve Woollatt 7.518/149.16, 4. Eric Teboul 8.381/151.97, 5. Jean-Claude Draper 9.260/128.25, 6. Klaus Brinkmann 9.984/151.54, 7. Roald Dogge 10.397/92.07, 8. Klaus Sarembe 10.518/133.17, 9. Roel koedam 21.040/40.01, Brian Johnson DQ.
Stay tuned and we'll bring you more news soon. The next FIA and UEM session is set for 17:00, including Top Fuel.
We've had one complete cycle of Sportsman qualifying and a big highlight was in Custom Car Street Eliminator where Ian Hook got into the eights with a great pass of 8.992/154.86. Nice one Ian! Another standout was Rick McCann in Pro ET who ran 10.900 on a 10.90 dial-in.
After one cycle, the number one qualifers are as follow:
10.90 Bike: Lewis Honey 10.988/122.85
9.90 Bike: Rob Saluz 9.964/136.58
Super Street Bike: Steve Venables 8.653/166.89
CC Street: Ian Hook 8.992/154.86
Pro ET: Rick McCann +0.000 10.900/123.12
Comp Eliminator: Marco Maurichat 9.607/75.96
Junior Dragster (RT): Scott Hauser 0.507
Sportsman ET: Martin Lewis +0.215 16.795/77.55
Super Gas (9.90): Pete Creswell 9.915/143.72
Super Comp (8.90): Zane Llewellyn 8.929/150.36
Super Street (10.90): Stuart Doignie 10.941/117.60
Stay tuned and we'll bring you news from the FIA and UEM qualifying sessions just as soon as they happen.
Good morning and welcome to Santa Pod. It's a beutiful summer's morning just as predicted by the weathermen and we're all set for a frenetic day's qualifying.
We got here at about four o'clock yesterday afternoon, and such is the friendliness of the racers that it took your reporter some four hours to get to the end of the Pro pits! Here's what we found out in that time.
Swedish Pro Stock racer Jari Konola is in confident mood, having been a tenth or so seconds and some three or four miles per hour quicker than the other Pro Stock racers at Mantorp Park a few weeks back. "We're going to go fast this weekend", said Jari. "We have found another fifty horsepower over the winter. We have a new motor, new clutch, new suspension and some other new parts. My personal best will go this weekend. Look out for the second round of qualifying! I'm aiming for a 6.97 but it depends on the weather - we don't want too much sun".
Next door in the Pro Stock pits, Michael Malmgren and crew have installed their new engine, named Obej, in the AC Delco Camaro. Our buddy Thomas told us that they have a 6.96 tune-up in the engine, whether this was anything to do with Jari Konola's comments is uncertain! "It doesn't matter what anyone else does, we were the first into the sixes - and we have done it twice!" said Thomas.
Top Methanol FC racer Leif Helander was his usual jolly self when we met him yesterday afternoon. "It gets harder and harder every year!", he said. "I have no sponsors - I haven't really had time to try to find them". Leif told us that he put the car in the trailer after last year's European Finals and only took it out a short while ago to clean it. The car is carrying the name of SHRA Sundsvall and its new race track Sundsvall Raceway. "We have bought our own track!", said Leif, who was involved in the setting-up of his SHRA branch in the 1970s. "It's 2.3 kilometres long and it's all ours!". The track has benefitted from grandstands and other equiment from local soccer team GEF who have redeveloped their ground following promotion to Sweden's top league. Leif is a good friend of Micke Kagered, who is making his first competitive outing in Top Fuel Dragster this weekend. "Top Fuellers are girls' cars", said Leif. "I have bought Kagered a bra".
Fellow TMFC racer Leif Andreasson has a new Camaro body with a stunning new paintjob on the Kamasa Tools car. "Bernt Karlsson did the body", said crew member Anders Magnusson. "He worked day and night to get it ready for us. It's a Hairy Glass body and is actually a Fuel FC body, for more downforce, although it is of course fitted out for Methanol. Several teams in the USA wanted this body, but we got it!". Magnus told us that there are no drastic changes to the engine since last season. "Just little updates here and there", he said. "Some new little tricks - or secrets!".
Lex Joon and his team have had some welding work to do on his TMFC this week after tyre shake on his second test pass last week broke the engine mounts. "It's the worst thing that can happen", he said. "Tomorrow I'll make a half pass and then we will work up from there. We have so many new things on this car that we have to work out a baseline. The main thing with these cars is to get through the first half of the track and then it's easy". Lex isn't overly worried about his qualifying position. "You can try to be first qualifier, but the important thing is to be first on race day", he said. Lex is also working on his Reaction Times. "The car feels a lot quicker to react with this new set-up", he said. "Reaction time is the cheapest horsepower you can get".
The Nemesis Top Methanol Dragster team were putting together Zippy, their new engine. "Bungle is our spare this weekend" said crew chief Andy Bissett. The team have Canadian Top Alcohol racer Bob Haffner with them this weekend to provide tuning advice. Bob tuned Eero Kilpelainen to some spectacular performances last year so the Nemesis team are very pleased to have his services.
Next door, the Krypton TMD team have added yet more ornaments to their pit. If you have been tuning in regularly this season you will remember that at the Easter Thunderball the Krypton team lined flower pots between their pit and the Nemesis area, and then added a coaching lamp at Super Series 1. This weekend they have carried out their threat to install a water feature, and have also added garden gnomes although one is missing. "We didn't need Grumpy" said driver Wendy Baker, possibly referring to Dave Wilson next door. The Krypton team have not had too bad a time of it since Super Series 1. "We had an oil line come off and lost half of the fuel system at the last race, but there was no real damage", said Wendy. Wendy's last ride was a slingshot dragster and she said that a rear-engined dragster feels weird. "I feel vulnerable", she said. "I prefer to have the engine in front of me where I can see what it's doing. It's an odd sensation when you can see the track, you feel very exposed. Also you feel like you are being pushed along, whereas in the slingshot you feel like you are being pulled along. It's fun though!". Wendy also told us that the team are toying with the idea of putting the dragster's engine into her and Paul Stubbins' police-themed Funny Car, and to give it a run out at the Bulldog Bash.
Fellow TMD racer Manty Bugeja had some nice words for Eurodragster after our coverage of his test passes at Wednesday's press day. "We got a lot of phone calls on Wednesday", he said. "The fans in Malta have already printed off your pictures!". Car owner Joe Carabott and the team have spent the couple of days since Wednesday taking their new transmission apart to check it over, and everything was OK. "We will be going straight for a full pass in qualifying", said Manty.
Canto Consultancy TMD tuner Jon Wright told us that he was on a new learning curve with the methanol engine, but that "apart from the different fuel system, the pistons still go up and down and the crank goes round. But it's a bit different from the Champ Car engine I'm used to at work!".
Fireforce 2 Jet FC pilot Martin Hill has a new body on the five-second machine after last year's model was suffering from the Coke bottle effect at the top end. "This new body is a plug from last year's body", said Martin. "It's all carbon fibre, no rubbish!". I asked Martin what you do to a jet car to get it into the fives. "I did some work on the engine, built a new afterburner, and put on a new air intake and off it went!", he said. Martin also feels that there is more to come from the car. "There is definitely more in it. It was sliding in stage at the Big Bang" he said, referring to the Volkswagen event at which he ran the five-second pass. "I want to launch it harder and run it out the back door. I'm after Spuff's 281! If it feels OK then I'll keep building it up". The five put Martin into the top twenty Jet FC pilots on the planet but he has designs on going further up the list.
European Top Fuel Champion Anita Makela had a crisis yesterday after the rest of her crew were stuck in Finland with a four-hour delay to their flight, which meant that they would miss picking up their hire car as the agency desk at Stansted Airport was due to close at about ten o'clock, some two and a half hours before their earliest arrival time. Anita was juggling mobile phone calls whilst also hopping in and out of the Top Fueller to warm it up. The car was dropping cylinders during testing last weekend, but Anita is confident that crew member Jarmo would be able to sort it out, and it sounded just great when warmed up and the nitro cloud stood out against the blue sky.
Fellow Top Fuel racer Barry Sheavills is raring to go in the Carplan Top Fueller. "We have a totally new set-up this season", he said. "New clutch settings, new fuel system, lots of changes". Barry was planning a half pass today and will then step up to full passes tomorrow.
Next door, Top Fuel racer Andy Carter is also planning a half pass today to check out some new heads on the engine, and then running full passes tomorrow. I asked him his game plan this weekend. "We're going out there to win", he said. I was encouraged to ask Crew Chief Eddie Corr for a quote. "Roll on Monday!", he said. "Everything was fine at the Thunderball", he added, "the car was really strong on two three hundred-foot passes. We've changed the heads though and I think that it will be a change in the right direction."
Peter Beck and his team have backed down the engine of Rico Anthes' Nitrolympics Top Fueller after their problems in testing. The damaged head from last Sarurday's explosion has been repaired by Dave Wilson and is now back in place, and another head which was 'nibbled' on Wednesday's second run has also been repaired. As it's Rico's car and engine the team aren't taking any chances - a half pass is planned today to check the set-up and then the wick will be turned up tomorrow.
Supertwin Top Fuel racer Ton Pels had some bad luck yesterday when a lobe broke off the cam during a warm-up. It was sounding very strong indeed and then there was suddenly a BANG, and that was that. Ton and his crew have repaired the bike and were all ready to start it up at half past eleven last night and were only just stopped in time by the pit crew.
Qualifying is due to start with Junior Dragster and Sportsman classes, with FIA and UEM classes having two sessions at 12:00 and 17:00. We plan to bring you details of all of the FIA and UEM classes as quickly as possible after their sessions end, plus Sportsman highlights, so stay tuned and we'll bring you all the news.